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Back Yard Dangers: Mosquitoes

The Housing Hour July 17, 2013








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Its hard to comprehend that simply enjoying your back yard can have dangerous consequences, but it can. There are common bugs that lurk in every back yard that can turn a fun summer day into a struggle to survive.


Mosquitoes are the most dangerous and by far the most annoying bug in the back yard. They can turn a wonderful summer party into miserable evening of swatting and slapping. The mosquito has an incredible ability to get a meal. Once the insect detects and lands on its intended target it injects a protein shake mixture into the area around the meal site. The proteins they inject interrupt the the immune system and block the blood from clotting while it enjoys the meal. These proteins are what causes the irritation, itching and inflammation around the injection site. The biggest danger, however, is what is potentially transferred in the protein shake mixture. Diseases such as West Nile Virus, encephalitis, malaria, dengue are not uncommon side effects of mosquito bites.


  • The best defense is avoiding them altogether. The mosquito’s most active period is from dawn and at dusk. Planning your back yard event should be timed accordingly.
  • Another proactive way of decreasing the population of mosquitoes is eliminating their breeding ground.  Look for standing water around your home or constant wet areas. It doesn’t take much water for mosquitoes to breed, but it does take some time, typically 5-14 days. So look for standing water sources, like leaky water faucets, water discharge from air conditioning units, toys ,out door furniture, just about anything can be a breeding ground.
  • Professional pest control companies have mosquito management programs. These cost varies but can be a very good way to eliminate mosquitoes during the summer months.
  • Personal protection products that are applied to the skin is the most effective way. The active chemical is called Deets.
  • Another chemical called Permethrin can be applied to clothing only. Walmart carries a brand called Repel, this product is applied to your clothing and can last up to six weeks worth of washing.  This is a must product for campers.

As the old idiom goes, ‘The best defense is a good offense…’. These tips for prevention should save you and your family from these annoying insects and allow everyone to enjoy summer in the back yard.

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